Cohen Withdraws From Smart Ones Skate America Due to Back Injury

Sasha Cohen
Photo by Paul Harvath

(10/19/04) - 2004 World silver medalist Sasha Cohen announced today her withdrawal from 2004 Smart Ones Skate America due to recurring back problems. Cohen flew to Chicago, Ill., today to consult with Dr. Craig Weston, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine, whom she has seen since her back injury in 2001. It is believed that her current back problems may be related to the injury she sustained in 2001 an injury that forced her to withdraw from the 2001 State Farm U.S. Championships.

"I am very saddened that I have aggravated my recurring back injury and will not be able to defend my title at Skate America," Cohen said. "I was looking forward to competing in the first event of the Grand Prix Series and am very disappointed that I will not be able to do so. Once my back is recovered, I intend to vigorously train to prepare for the rest of the season."

In his assessment today Dr. Weston performed a full examination including an MRI on Cohen's back. He diagnosed that Cohen reinjured her back, causing severe back strain. He recommended she skate with reduced multi-revolution jumping for four weeks and take part in intense physical therapy to strengthen her lower back.

Cohen said her recent back problems started a few weeks ago.

"I have been having recurring issues and problems with back pain over the last several weeks," Cohen said. "I have been seeing a physical therapist, Marika Molnar, who has been treating me for the past two and a half years, and we have had approximately six sessions together. Even though I was experiencing pain during this time, I tried to skate through it and train, looking forward to Skate America. Yesterday, it became apparent to me and to my physical therapist that I needed a professional to look at my injury."

Cohen will not be replaced at Skate America, which will take place with 11 ladies competitors.

Cohen and her doctors have not made a decision regarding her participation in Cup of China, Nov. 11-14 in Beijing, China. They will announce their decision at a later date.